When you return to work is governed largely by the doctors involved in your care and your employer. At some point, the doctor will likely release you to return to work. This release could be with or without some restrictions regarding what you can and cannot do. It is therefore very important that you provide your doctors with very specific information regarding your job duties, so that they have a good idea of the physical requirements of your job.
When you are released to return to work by a doctor, regardless of whether it is to full duty or restricted duty, you should ask the doctor for a note or form documenting the release and any necessary restrictions. You should then provide a copy of the release to your employer, but always make sure to keep a copy for your own records. Your employer then has the option of whether to bring you back to work. If your employer chooses not to bring you back to work, you should continue to receive workers’ compensation wage loss benefits. If the employer chooses to bring you back to work, they must send you a document called a Notice of Ability to Return to Work before a return-to-work offer is made. If a valid job offer is made and you do not return to work, you could jeopardize both your workers’ compensation wage loss benefits and your employment with your employer. You should, therefore, consult a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as it appears you may be asked to return to work to discuss your options and obligations.
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